Northville Township Manager and Director of Public Safety Todd Mutchler received some good news recently.
He was notified that the Northville Township Police Department achieved one of the most prestigious designations in law enforcement: accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA®).
This important designation verifies the department meets or excels at best practices of law enforcement standards, Mutchler explained. Only 11 of the 583 police agencies in Michigan and only 4 percent of more than 18,000 law enforcement agencies nationwide have achieved accreditation, a process that typically takes three years to complete. Northville Township was able to complete it in two years, Mutchler noted.
Concurrently, the department also achieved the CALEA Public Safety Communications Accreditation, a separate process but one just as rigorous. Northville Township is one of two public safety answering points (PSAP) in the state out of 136 such call centers to achieve this accreditation. The township PSAP receives emergency and non-emergency calls for Northville Township and the City of Northville.
CALEA accreditation is a voluntary process that requires agencies to carefully examine and improve itself, and then submit reports showing compliance with the programs' standards. The process provides for a high level of transparency and commitment, followed by an objective critique of the police department's policies, procedures, and operating standards, according to the organization website.
“The men and women of the Northville Township Police Department are driven to serve our community with professionalism while continuously improving,” Northville Township Police Chief Paul Tennies said. “This process promotes transparency while validating these commitments to those who live and visit Northville Township.”
Agencies must stand for reaccreditation every four years.
“Every member of our department has played a key role in this extensive process,” Mutchler said. “We thank them for their hard work in achieving this prestigious designation.”
The biggest winner in this process is the community, Mutchler said. “The department is operating under the highest standards and that's reflected in our relationship with the community, with other government bodies and other agencies. The CALEA designation verifies this and demonstrates that we are always looking for ways to improve our service and by doing so, we are building trust as we protect and serve.”
Members of the Northville Township Board of Trustees will formally recognize the CALEA reaccreditation at a future meeting.
CALEA is an independent nationally accrediting authority formed in 1979 by four major law enforcement membership associations: the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), the National Sheriff's Association (NSA), and the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF).